25 of 31 people found the following review helpful
and 1/2 stars. Nothing Like An "Essential" Collection,
This review is from: Essential Poco (Audio CD)
Leave it to Epic to once again give short shrift to Poco, arguably America's most influential and underrated country-rock band. When I first heard Poco would get an "Essential" collection, I had visions of a two-disc set spanning their entire recording career from 1969-1984, with perhaps a track or two from the one-off "reunion" album, "Legacy" on RCA in 1989 (Poco is back making records again on small, independent labels, now. See 2003's "Running Horse" and 2004's "Keeping The Legend Alive").
Well, Epic got it at least half-right. This set covers their entire recording career, but, at only one 70 minute disc, there are HUGE omissions which do not give a new listener a true sense of this phenomenal band. Enormous chunks of their recording career are completely omitted, particularly their work with ABC/MCA in the late '70s and early '80s. Missing completely from this era are Poco classics like "Keep On Tryin'", "Rose Of Cimarron", "Indian Summer", "Legend", and "Under The Gun." If they had also been included here, some of the tracks from the recently released "from the vaults" live recording, "The Last Roundup" would have introduced the listener to the real power of live Poco, who have always had the reputation of being a fantastic live act. Here, I am thinking of tracks like "Living In The Band" and "Too Many Nights Too Long," among others. Two tracks from 1971's live album "Deliverin'" are included here, but do not pack the punch of the tracks on "The Last Roundup", though "C'mon" comes close.
Other selections in this collection are curious inclusions. While still an enjoyable track, "High And Dry" (from 1974's "Cantamos") is certainly inferior to that album's best track, the vocally and instrumentally amazing "Sagebrush Serenade," which is nowhere to be found here. Just as inexplicably, Poco's uninteresting cover of the Buffalo Springfield's "Go And Say Goodbye" from the 1972 album, "A Good Feelin' To Know" is here, while a superior song like "Ride The Country" from the same album is absent, though the live version of the latter song from the 1976 album, "Live" would be the best choice had it been included.
It would be wise to avoid this collection and to pick up instead the two-disc "The Forgotten Trail" for coverage of Poco's Epic Records years, and the single disc "Crazy Loving: The Best of Poco, 1975-1982" for their ABC/MCA Records hits. Also available as an import is the two-disc "The Essential Collection" which also is restricted to the ABC/MCA years. A more balanced and better collection of ALL their material from 1969-1989 is Hip-O's single-disc "The Ultimate Collection." While still not ideal, it is a far more "Essential" collection than this travesty.